An AR virtual space escape game on smartphone

Tranquility base is the world's first virtual escape game in augmented reality on the theme of space.

A unique smartphone game that takes place in a lunar base and its mission control center on Earth where cooperation and time management will be the keys to a successful mission! Put yourself in the shoes of an astronaut on the Moon or a mission leader on Earth and expect to live with your teammate an extraordinary space adventure but also discover real research projects for space exploration.

Space@yourService is proud to present Tranquility base, a new and unique tool to promote space sciences created by our association and developed by the Swiss video game studio Digital Kingdom.

Synopsis ​

A lunar earthquake has severely damaged the lunar base, the oxygen is running dangerously low. You have 20 minutes with your teammate to find a solution and save the mission. Choose to be in the lunar base or in the mission control center on Earth and try to solve each puzzle with your teammate on the other celestial body, in an augmented reality environment. You will have to collaborate together in order to re-establish communication and restart the lunar base’s life system. Our app is the world’s first escape game on the theme of space using augmented reality technology. You will be immersed in a scientifically realistic space mission. Although Tranquility base is a fictional experience, its scenario and puzzles are based on real science. Indeed, you will meet current Swiss space research projects in the laboratories of ETH and EPFL. You will discover what a lunar base could look like in 2050. Tranquility base aims to promote Swiss space sciences to the general public worldwide.

A couple of videos providing a sneak peek into the game

Play the game

Technical requirements

The hardware – smartphone or tablet – must:

● Support ARCore / ARKit

● Contain an accelerometer and a gyroscope

● Have a good quality camera

● Be powerful enough: minimum 3Gb of Ram and CPU at 2 Ghz

● Have a battery of significant capacity (the game lasts around twenty minutes)

● Be part of the device families supported by ARcore: Android / iOS

Gaming Recommendations:

● 2 player game 

● 2 tablets or smartphones

●  2 playing surfaces of 3 meters by 3 meters, ideally 4 meters by 4 meters (more comfortable)  

● Each surface is if possible phonically separated from each other

● Both devices must be connected on the same WIFI network

● Have a game environment with contrast (colorful ground and walls or furniture) 

Research projects:

MORI

The structure of the game lunar base is composed of robots directly inspired by Japanese origami: the Robogamis. The hull of the lunar base is composed of triangles called MORI (modular origami) that fit together to create many different structures. The space application of MORI is to create multiple shapes useful at different times of the space mission.

AMIRSU

Instead of relying on deliveries from Earth, Tranquility base uses a self-sustainable and affordable method to produce its own resources. Additive Manufacturing and Lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (AMISRU) is a project that combines the development of two advanced technologies using lasers and optical processing. First, the use of lunar regolith available on the surface of the Moon as a raw material for the production of oxygen for human life support. Second, the use of metallic elements left over from the extraction of oxygen from the regolith to fabricate complex objects or structures using processed materials and layered constructions.

SPACEBOK

Tranquility base must operate in an hostile and impractical environment, but can rely on robotic explorers such as Spacebok.

SpaceBok was specifically built to test the feasibility of low gravity travel. Like terrestrial walking robots, it is highly versatile. Spacebok is capable of tackling sandy slopes or rocky terrain as well as traveling great distances. Such a system could take us to places where no other robot has gone before. Sites of great scientific importance, such as deep alien craters and canyons, would be within human reach for the first time.

Did you notice the hidden items in the game?

MCC ROOM

Name of the mission:

The mission in the game is named after a real mission carried out by students at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).  The Asclepios project is a program of similar missions designed by students for students, under the supervision of qualified professionals. This interdisciplinary project brings together more than a hundred students and scientists from all over the world to achieve a common goal: successful analog space missions. Go see what they are doing, it’s awesome:  https://asclepios.ch 

The plush from the meme "This is fine" :

You surely know this meme, where even though everything is on fire around him, the dog says with a big smile: “This is fine”. This plush can be seen in NASA’s mission control center during several missions, including the Perseverance mission.

The Good Luck Peanuts :

Good Luck Peanuts first appeared at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Space Flight Operations Facility in 1964, during the Ranger 7 mission. JPL had experienced six failures prior to this mission, so the pressure was on to succeed. On the day of the Ranger 7 launch, peanuts were present and the launch was a success. The tradition was born! Ranger 7 performed flawlessly, as did its successors, Ranger 8 and 9. They sent back images and helped select landing sites for the Apollo lunar program. On a few occasions, the peanuts did not arrive in time for launch day. In one case, the spacecraft was lost shortly after launch. In another case, the launch was delayed by 40 days and did not occur until after the peanuts were delivered to the mission team.

Picture of Space@yourService committee

Our super committee of 2020-2021 in spacesuit was immortalized in the mission control center.

Swiss cube​

Swiss cube is a scientific nano satellite of CubeSat format built by 200 students of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).  It weighs 820 grams and has the shape of a cube of 10 centimeters side. SwissCube-1 was launched on September 23, 2009 by the Indian PSLV rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Center and was placed in orbit at an altitude of 720 kilometers. The mission of this satellite is to observe the phenomena of night luminescence which are born at an altitude of about one hundred kilometers, called night sky light.

Artistic view of the Earth and its numerous space debris

During the last 60 years, a lot of space debris has been accumulated in the immediate space environment of the Earth. All these elements represent dangerous projectiles for the operational satellites and the astronauts of the international space station which is regularly damaged by space debris. This is why space actors must in the future plan for the end of life and deorbiting of future satellites, but also find ways to remove those that are already there.

LB ROOM

Choosing the placement of the lunar base

As seen in the intro kinematics, our lunar base is located near the equator of the Moon on the Sea of Tranquility. Due to their basaltic nature, these seas are the main source of metals like iron and titanium on the Moon. Another advantage is that the lunar equator is much more accessible from Earth than any other region of the Moon, communications with Earth are simplified and the topography is less threatening than in other regions.

Lightsaber

For the 30th anniversary of the release of the Star Wars movies, the lightsaber of the character Luke Skywalker from the movie released in 1977 was packed and sent on October 23, 2007 aboard the space shuttle Discovery with the mission STS-120. 

Golf club​

During the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. The American astronaut Alan Shepard who was the fifth man to walk on the Moon had the brilliant idea to bring with him a golf club specially designed to be sent into space. He hit two balls on the lunar ground.

Cross marks on the camera

These cross-shaped marks are called registration marks and are produced by the camera’s optics. These marks ensure that the exact geometry of the image is preserved despite distortions that occur during image processing, such as scanning or printing on paper.

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank our partners who supported us in this incredible project: